Gas and electricity behaviour

14
Found 7th Jan
I have a question. If you tell somebody that a product is cheaper down the road they are happy and grateful. If you tell them they can save money by switching utility suppliers they get angry. It's a subject that gets people going. What's the psychology behind this? Do they know they are getting a bad deal so just block it out and continue on? It's very strange behaviour. I decided a while back to never rase the subject however it came up yesterday when a friend got all political and ranted on. Then said there is no point changing utility company as they are all the same price.. Bizarre. Don't think I ever see posts here about the subject...
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How very dare you Wayners.
I have come across this as well. They seem to struggle with pricing on non tangible items. They see gas and electric like the water bill and council tax as just a bill to pay. Don't waste your time.
I have noticed the same to be honest! tis indeed a strange phenomena.
Two motivators in life - FEAR and GREED (very simplified model of course!).

For some people in this instance the FEAR of change exceeds the GREED (or necessity) of savings. People wrongly imagine the changeover going wrong and being left without gas and electricity! Also - some when they know they are wrong will never take the action which proves it - hence will never change suppliers.

Just changed to Avro myself 2 months ago and not a problem. Price fixed for 12 months so in 9 months time will look around again. With me GREED gemerally dominates FEAR!
@Van1973 Good answer.. Going to have to think it through but you have answered.
Edited by: "wayners" 7th Jan
I have come across this, I think people don't want to admit they have already been ripped off and carry on getting conned, even if logically they are just fooling themselves.
Edited by: "davewave" 7th Jan
I think basically it’s one of education. People assume utility and other bills like phone, broadband, electric, gas, home insurance are all roughly the same and therefore the risk of moving outweighs the potential gain.

People talking about the savings they make is gradually educating people to move around, regulation is making it easier to switch suppliers (where this wasn’t the case before .i.e gas, elec). People just need to know what they are missing out on.
people don't like to think that they are not money savvy and it may depend on how you delivered the message to them. they may have thought you were either sticking your nose into their business, where it is not wanted, that you may think you know it all and they don't.

my in laws are like that. they are pretty dumb when it comes to money but they get all upset if you ever mention that there are better deals out there for anything as they think they know best and don't need our advise.
Changing energy suppliers and tarriffs in theory should be simple enough. Reality is it's a minefield of inept idiots who have zero interest in solving your problem. If it was easy enough then you would be able to pay a company to automatically switch you to the best available that month.
Edited by: "kester76" 7th Jan
You're right. I'm having the same battle with my in-laws. They love a bargain and will gladly shop around for the best deal on any physical product but tell them to do the same with phone , broadband, gas or electricity and they will just not entertain it.
kester7614 m ago

Changing energy suppliers and tarriffs in theory should be simple enough. …Changing energy suppliers and tarriffs in theory should be simple enough. Reality is it's a minefield of inept idiots who have zero interest in solving your problem. If it was easy enough then you would be able to pay a company to automatically switch you to the best available that month.



^Pretty much this. Also real life rarely follows projected outcomes so 'we'll save you £400 a year' normally translates to thanks for your money sucker.
Work colleagues and I have discussed the pros and cons for switching and the reasons why some don't (or never have)... its all about either the time it takes, or, some are happy to stay with the existing provider....and are not price sensitive.

Going off on a tangent slightly:- The CMA/Ofgem is pushing hard to bring in a 'Faster Switching' programme for gas/electricity. However, with the costs of this and the conversion to Smart Metering, this is going to cost the end-consumer £billions over the next few years. In addition, Ofgem is promoting the use of Price comparison websites - which are businesses and there to make money - from end-consumers. Price of course is a big driver but this is coming at the expense of customer service levels.

Alas, the UK energy market structure is flawed e.g. Co-Op Energy recently went bust, others will follow; and consolidations will occur e.g. Shell has bought First Utility, SSE has bought Npower.
What it all boils down to is-

50% of the population are below average intelligence. Can't educate pork.
Possibly because they already have a gas/electric supplier and so you are in effect saying 'YOU got a bad deal' which causes some people to become defensive.
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